First Day is Monday - Don't Wait To Enroll!
The first day of school is Monday, August 22. All RISD schools are open for enrollment this week. Space in some schools may be limited at different grade levels, so parents are strongly encouraged to enroll their children before the first day of school.
Not sure what your attendance area school is? Visit RISD's online School Finder
Learn more about enrollment, including required documents & immunizations
Earlier School Start Times
Students and parents are reminded that the school day will begin earlier at elementary and junior high schools for the upcoming year that begins August 22.
Elementary school day: 7:50 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Junior high school day: 8:15 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
High school day (unchanged): 9:00 a.m. - 4:10 p.m.
The changes are part of the 2016-17 Student Academic Calendar adopted in February.
New Principals Named
Becky Stevens and Sharon Erickson have been named RISD's two newest principals.
Mrs. Stevens has assumed her new duties as principal of Lake Highlands Elementary. She is in her 12th year as an RISD educator, and comes to LHE from White Rock Elementary, where she served as an assistant principal. Mrs. Stevens began her career as a classroom teacher and has also served as an assistant principal at RISD Academy. She holds a bachelor's degree in Elementary Education from the University of Texas at Austin and a master's degree in Educational Administration from Lamar University.
Mrs. Erickson has also assumed her new duties as principal of Spring Creek Elementary. She is in her 16th year as an RISD educator, and comes to Spring Creek from Skyview Elementary, where she served as an assistant principal. Mrs. Erickson began her career as a classroom teacher and has also served as an assistant principal at Northlake Elementary. She holds a bachelor's degree in Education from the University of North Texas and a master's degree in Educational Administration from Lamar University.
Board Activity Update
At its August 15 Work Session, the RISD Board of Trustees discussed several topics, including 2016 accountability ratings for schools and design options for the first of two new elementary schools in Lake Highlands.
Accountability Update - All RISD Schools Met Standard
The State of Texas released 2016 accountability ratings for schools, and trustees heard a report on how RISD schools performed under the accountability system. All schools in RISD received the highest rating of Met Standard, as did the district. Other possible ratings under the Texas system are Improvement Required and Met Alternative Standard.
"We're excited about our academic growth and it reflects the very hard work of our students, teachers, support staff and instructional leaders last year," said Interim Superintendent Dr. Jeannie Stone. "I'm confident these results are a first step toward ongoing growth and that's where our focus as district will continue to be."
Instructional staff and the Board discussed student academic performance under the accountability system, and including opportunities for improvement as well as areas of strength.
- Approximately 65% of RISD schools improved academic performance across each of the four measured indices of the accountability system in 2016.
- Three schools rated Improvement Required in 2015 earned significant academic gains in 2016 and improved their rating to Met Standard.
- Achievement gaps remain among some student groups, including English language learners, economically disadvantaged students and students receiving special education services.
- Writing and English/Language Arts remain areas of focus and additional resources to continue improvement among all student groups.
Academic distinctions, which are awarded to schools based on strong performance in specific academic areas compared to peer campuses, are expected to be available in September.
Design of New Elementary School
Trustees continued discussions about the preliminary design and configuration of the first of two new elementary schools in Lake Highlands, at the corner of White Rock Trail & Walnut Hill Lane (learn more about the background).
Staff reviewed results of a survey related to general design elements. Aggregate findings from the 527 respondents included:
- No clear preference between a two story (51.2%) or three story (48.8%) design option
- A clear preference that student play areas and usable green space be located behind the building (71.1%) compared to in front of the building (28.9%)
- Aesthetically, a preference for a modern design (59.0%) compared to a more traditional design (41.0%)
The designs currently prepared are conceptual renderings, and once decisions are made about the layout and configuration of the site, schematic designs can be prepared.
Usable Outdoor Space for Students
Board members and staff questioned Corgan architect Steve Hulsey about the conceptual renderings, specifically as they relate to space on the site available for outdoor student use.
- Mr. Hulsey confirmed the square footage amounts for outdoor play areas published as part of the conceptual renderings are accurate, and only include outdoor areas that would be usable by students.
- The conceptual renderings are preliminary to illustrate logistical relationships and not developed to a precise scale.
- Architects used computer-assisted design (CAD) to calculate the approximate amounts of usable outdoor space for students, but the conceptual renderings alone cannot be used to accurately calculate the usable outdoor space.
- Final construction documents with exact dimensions are expected to be available by the end of the year.
Implications of Zoning Process & Timeline
A decision is needed by the September 12 Regular Meeting on preliminary design elements to stay within a timeline that allows the school to open for the 2018-2019 school year. If the three-story design is chosen, a request for a code variance will be required through the City of Dallas, while district legal staff have indicated the two-story option would not require a variance request.
The code variance process can be time consuming, and staff discussed contingencies to accommodate enrollment growth if the opening of the new school is delayed beyond 2018. White Rock Elementary is projected to exceed 1,000 students by the 2018-19 school year. Adding additional portable classrooms is not a viable option because the campus does not have sufficient space for central functions to accommodate that many students. The two most viable options to accommodate additional students would include:
- Overflow to Other RISD Schools
As enrollment grows that cannot be accommodated at a neighborhood school, additional students would be assigned to other RISD schools that have space in different grade levels. It's currently unknown what other schools would have capacity in different grade levels in 2018. One goal of overflow placements is to assign students to a school geographically close to their home attendance area. An issue that has occurred in Lake Highlands in recent years involves fewer campuses having room to receive overflowed students due to increased enrollment across the area, so some placements have been made to schools outside of the Lake Highlands area. Another challenge of overflowing students involves families with siblings that require space to be available in multiple grade levels in order for the family to remain together. This scenario reduces the number of possible schools with space to receive overflowed siblings, and can result in overflow assignments farther away.
- Reassigning Attendance Boundaries
One method used in the past to accommodate enrollment growth at specific schools has been to designate portions of attendance boundaries to other schools that are projected to have space. In this situation, a portion of the current WRE attendance area could be reassigned to a different RISD school that would serve as the home campus for those families, thereby alleviating enrollment at WRE.
Trustees are expected to make a decision on the design elements of the new school at the September 12 Regular Meeting, which will allow for schematic designs to be prepared.
Learn more about the August 15 Work Session, including video
Back-To-School Supply Drive
The RISD Partners Program is collecting school supplies for families in need and to reduce the number of students who return to school in the fall without school supplies. Cash or check donations are also welcome.
Donations can be dropped off at the RISD Administration Building, 400 S. Greenville Ave. 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. weekdays through Friday, August 12.
Contact RISD Community Relations Manager Mary Worthington at 469-593-0307 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
School Supplies Needed Include:
Facial tissues; Manila paper; Construction paper; Notebook paper; Wide-ruled notebook paper;
Spiral notebooks (one-subject and three-subject); Folders with pockets and brads; #2 pencils; Erasers; Markers; Crayons; Black, blue and red pens; Colored pencils; Glue sticks/Elmer’s Glue; Scissors; Rulers; Binders (2 and 3 inch)
See school supplies by grade level